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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Michiko Likes Al Gore's Book!

And well she should. Al is the Man these days, fo' sho.

Basically, Kakutani's review of The Assault on Reason is less a critique and more a concise summary of the book's points, and there's only one (count it, one!) paragraph with negativity. Here are some particular gems, emphases mine comme toujours:
His volume moves beyond its criticisms of the Bush administration to diagnose the ailing condition of America as a participatory democracy — low voter turnout, rampant voter cynicism, an often ill-informed electorate, political campaigns dominated by 30-second television ads, and an increasingly conglomerate-controlled media landscape — and it does so not with the calculated, sound-bite-conscious tone of many political-platform-type books, but with the sort of wonky ardor that made both the book and movie versions of “An Inconvenient Truth” so bluntly effective.

Moreover, Mr. Gore contends, the administration’s penchant for secrecy (keeping everything from the details of its coercive interrogation policy to its National Security Agency surveillance program under wraps) has dismantled the principle of accountability, even as what he calls its “unprecedented and sustained campaign of mass deception” on matters like Iraq has made “true deliberation and meaningful debate by the people virtually impossible

Part civics lesson, part political jeremiad, part philosophical tract, “The Assault on Reason” reveals an angry, impassioned Al Gore — a far cry from the carefully scripted, earth-tone-wearing Al Gore of the 2000 presidential campaign and the programmed “creature of Washington” described in the reporter Bill Turque’s 2000 biography of him, “Inventing Al Gore.”

Maybe so, Michi. But the earth tone crap wasn't so much who Al actumally was (although he did listen to shitty advisors, let's face it), but who the media painted him as, particularly your friend Maureen who said he was "practically lactating" and had a soft sopt for Dubya's manly-man-maniness. It's a good review, but it fails to really take into account and consider the very media culpability that our man Al describes in his tome. Like, maybe it's not just Al who's different, but the way the press is choosing to perceive him.

Incidentally, Al's interview with Diane Sawyer is a perfect example of the MSM (blogger jargon for mainstream media's) inability to get it--she kept asking him about weight loss and the election, etc. But he gave her a wee bit of a drubbing at the interview's close. Via ThinkProgress:

“Listen to your questions,” [Gore] said [to Sawyer]. “You know, the horserace, the cosmetic parts of this — and, look, that’s all understandable and natural. But while we’re focused on, you know, Britney and K-Fed and Anna Nicole Smith and all this stuff, meanwhile, very quietly, our country has been making some very serious mistakes that could be avoided if we, the people, including the news media, are involved in a full and vigorous discussion of what our choices are.”

Thanks, Al. I love you.


  1. There is no question. Gore's book is an assault on reason.

    Few gasbags have worked harder to touch on the irrational fears of citizens than Al Gore.

  2. Well, there is George Bush who never misses an opportunity to scare the populace with vague intimations of impending disaster - if we don't do exactly what the decider thinks (ha) we should do. But then he couldn't write a book of any kind, could he. Has enough trouble reading them. (Except for Camus, of course.)